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Fitness By Age - How Is 'Middle Age Fitness' Different From Any Other?

Aug 18, 2007
In the olden days it was believed that exercise was strictly for the younger generation. In fact most people were convinced that older people couldn't increase their muscle mass or strength however hard they tried. Today, these myths have been shattered by detailed research studies conducted at Harvard and elsewhere.

Studies have revealed that exercise for people in the 50 plus age group is decidedly healthy. As one grows older metabolism slows down that often leads to fat accumulation if one isn't fit and healthy. Also artery passages become narrow leading to high blood pressure and heart ailments. Muscles and skin lose tone and older women especially are prone to suffering from Osteoporosis- a disease where the bones become brittle and porous.

These effects of aging can be reversed or slowed down to a certain degree with regular exercise appropriate to ones age. At least fifteen to sixty minutes of oxygen enhancing exercises a few days a week is recommended by the ACSM (American college of Sports Medicine).

Our main aim should be to raise the heart rate to at least 60-90% of the safe maximum which is 220 beats per minute minus the present age. A good cardiovascular workout which may include a brisk 30 minute walk or three 10 minute walks per day, slow jogging, swimming or a dance routine help to keep the heart and blood vessels in check.

In order to keep ones weight under control and the muscles well toned one must indulge in strength building exercises. Balancing exercises are particularly good for building strong leg muscles. This also leads to better support for the joints and decreases ones chances of having a bad fall in old age. Statistics reveal that every year nearly 300,000 seniors are admitted with broken hips owing to a bad fall.

Slow stretching exercises help to keep the muscles well toned as well as the joints more flexible. This helps maintain good balance as well as increases the range of ones movement so that one experiences less pain during exercise and daily activities.

Endurance exercises on the other hand help in increasing the rate of metabolism,keep the heart and lungs healthy and the joints more flexible.A slightly higher metabolic rate induces the production of essential biochemicals which helps the body function better and longer.

All these exercises help in delaying aging and slow down the onset of Osteoporosis while minimizing its effects.When people lead an active life they are less prone to having Non-Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and certain types of coronary diseases.

An active body means an active mind as well.From the psychological point of view exercise helps to curb depression and heightens the mood.It also forms a good social activity for elderly people to participate in and they can alleviate feelings of isolation that stem from the fact that their friends and loved ones are no longer with them.

It is advised that older people should consult preferably both a physician and a trainer before starting a new exercise program. They should work at gradually increasing their energy levels, flexibility and strength by exercising a little at a time.

It is important to discuss any medical condition one has with ones physician and sports expert so that they can develop an exercise regime that is suitable.
About the Author
Tired of reading outdated fitness and health articles on the web? Well, wait no longer, check out http://www.1-stop-fitness.com for up-to-date information on young people exercise and increasing immune system with diet and exercise.
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